The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Ken Layne pointed out that more people watched Kangaroo Jack last weekend than participated in anti-war protests. A ruckus broke out in the comments section. One woman earnestly pointed out that "it is nevertheless unprecedented to have protests on a global scale. It is more than just numbers. You've got people from different cultures and countries who are willing to join in a concerted protest effort." Imagine that: There exist people in many countries, not just the US, who will continue to misapply the lessons of 60's until their walkers and wheelchairs rust. What an incredible logistical exercise, to get them all out chanting, singing, and excluding Israelis during the same 48-hour span! Next you'll be telling me that a billion people all turned on a television and watched the same boardcast of the World Cup final. What were the odds?

The fuss made its way over to Greg Beato's blog, where Atrios and Layne had a tussle in the comments. Finally Layne -- writing off the cuff on someone else's blog -- came up with the most crisp and intelligent statement of the debate:

The actions of a few can sometimes have a huge impact on the many. But when that happens -- think the Founding Fathers or MLK Jr. -- there's something novel about the ideas or the approach, and there's an overwhelming moral aspect that cannot be denied.

I just don't see that in the anti-war protests of 2003. Do you know anybody who went from one side to the other because of these protests? I sure don't, and I know a helluva lot of people on the fence.



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